Legendary film director Stanley Kubrick directed the film adaptation of Stephen King's 1977 novel, "The Shining." The movie received critical acclaim and became a classic in the horror genre. However, King himself did not like how the movie interpreted his book; instead, he would direct a television miniseries from his own work. "The Shining" miniseries was met with negative reviews and horror and Stephen King fans alike would compare it to Stanley Kubrick's vision as the better interpretation, but how was this possible? Why did King fail to re-imagine his own work?

History seems to repeat itself and something like this would never happen again in the entertainment industry until the world was introduced to the sensational "Chocolate Factory."

In 1964, the literary world was introduced with Ronald Dahl's critical-acclaimed children's book, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." Loved by readers of all ages, the book would win many awards and throughout the years would still be read by people with pure imaginations. Seven years later, American film director Mel Stuart would take readers out of the book and to the visual land of the chocolate factory with "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," starring the late Gene Wilder in one of his most well-known performances as the titular character.

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is known as one of the most pure and imaginative books ever written. Not only did reader crave for candy, chocolate specifically, but it was a story that was never done before. However, the success of the film adaptation did not meet the standards with Ronald Dahl. In fact, he despised how the movie was too different from his own creation; changes like turning Slugworth from a minor character in the book to a spy, renaming the title when more emphasis was put on Charlie, and the music the Oompa Lumpas sing would infuriated Dahl that his second wife, Felicity, commented in an interview with BBC News back in 2005 that film executives "want to change a book's storyline.

What makes Hollywood think children want the endings changed for a film, when they already accept it in a book?"

In 2005, visual filmmaker Tim Burton re-imagined the work of Ronald Dahl's success and directed "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," starring Johnny Depp as an edgier Willy Wonka and Freddie Highmore as the titular character, and it received positive reviews for staying close to the source material.

However, it was debated whether or not Depp portrayed the famous Candy Man well. In an interview with Houston PBS in 2007, Gene Wilder did not watch the re-imaginative remake and stated that he likes 'Johnny Depp, I like him, as an actor I like him very much ... but when I saw little pieces in the promotion of what he was doing, I said I don't want to see the film, because I don't want to be disappointed in him."

Despite all of this, the beloved "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" book continues to take readers to a world pure imagination. No other book would reach the pinnacle point of Ronald Dahl's classic until the world was introduced to the OASIS.

In a world of pure imagination

In 2011, author Ernest Cline wrote the award-winning book, "Ready Player One." The book would be known as the "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" of our time, as it would take readers to an original, fictional setting living in our non-fictional world - the OASIS, a virtual reality world where people go to escape from their harsh realities.

James Halliday, the creator of the VR world and shortly before his death, announced that there is an Easter Egg hidden and the first player to find it would gain his fortune and complete control of the OASIS. However, with the corrupted Innovative Online Industries, (IOI), wanting to take over the VR world, it is up to player Prizival, also known as Wade Owen Watts, and his High-Five clan to band together and save the OASIS before it falls in the wrong hands.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, the movie based on the same name follows the similar plot of the book with minor changes. According to Hollywood Deadline, and one year before the book was even published, it was announced in 2010 that "Ready Player One" would be adapted to a screenplay.

However, to bring the source material to life, Ernest Cline came on board to write the screenplay. Perhaps it was an executive choice to not make the same mistake that Kubrick or Burton did with the creative choices that they made.

The ensemble cast includes Tye Sheridan as the main protagonist, Wade Owen Watts, Olivia Cooke as Art3mis, Ben Mendelsohn as the antagonistic CEO of IOI, Nolan Sorrento, Mark Rylance as the eccentric OASIS creator, James Halliday, and Simon Pegg as co-creator, Ogden Morrow. According to Complex Media, the role of Wade Watts was set to be portrayed by an unknown actor but the casting call was failed to be made and Sheridan was brought on board in early 2016. Production began that summer.

Attention-grabbing movie

Last year, the San Diego Comic-Con trailer for "Ready Player One" was released and it received the attention that it wanted - to grab on the viewer's nostalgic presence. With Easter eggs hidden in the trailer, fandom galore was spread out with the time-traveling DeLorean from "Back to the Future," the title character from "The Iron Giant," and a the Tron-cycle from Disney's "Tron." To add the icing on the already delicious cake, the "Pure Imagination" theme from the 1971 "Willy Wonka" movie was chosen as its background theme for the trailer.

"Ready Player One" was well directed, and this is with the studios allowing Spielberg to give creative freedom throughout the production of the movie.

He once stated in an interview with IndieWire that "this is the most difficult movies I've done since "Saving Private Ryan." "Ready Player One" is filled with eye-candy CGI as well as many pop-culture references that it releases the inner nostalgia from the viewer who grew up in the 80's and 90's, such as its perfect music choices. Alan Silvestri did an outstanding job as the blockbuster's composer, (let it be known that he did the score for "Back to the Future"), however, credit deserves to go to its music supervisors; classic rock and pop such as "Jump" by Van Halen and "You Make My Dreams" by Daryl Hall and John Oates would take audiences back in time. With its music, the soundtrack could be one of the best non-original soundtracks of all time since Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix VOL.


As much as the cast did portray their characters well, most notably because Spielberg is a compelling actor's director, the character development did lack with the movie's two main protagonists. The chemistry was rushed; the club dance scene did show off some chemistry with an awesome oldie song, but it focused on our main hero falling in love with only Parzival and Art3mis having little screen time together by this point in the movie. In other words, it was a generic "love at first sight" moment in a movie that is trying to be timeless. However, Mark Rylance's performance as the creator of the OASIS, James Halliday, stands out the most. As the audience follows the Wade, Art3mis, and others to understand his psychological manner to find the Easter Egg, it is well established that Halliday is an odd man all thanks to Rylance's eager attitude.

In the end, despite some lack of character development, "Ready Player One" was still a fun blockbuster. It may seem like Steven Spielberg could be back to work on what he does best, and that is to recreate the childhood innocence of the current generation all the while creating the childhood of the current. After some minor hiccups in the past few years, most specifically with "Bridge of Spies" and "The Post", perhaps the Spielberg magic is back and so are the fans' to support the director with his announced future projects, especially with "Indiana Jones 5" and a musical remake of "West Side Story" on slate.

Put on your nostalgic goggles, let your geek flag fly, and enter the world of pure imagination with "Ready Player One," now everywhere in theaters!